It’s no secret that Disney thinks generational. From the rides and nostalgia at their parks to the productions of their feature films, Disney makes sure that mom, dad and kids will all enjoy what they’re doing.
I love that Disney thinks family (yes, I know they’re trying to pad their bottom line, but they do it by being Disney, which means family). When they create something they don’t think one age group—they think of the whole family. They find ways to include parents into some of their interactive experiences. They produce their animated films in a way that is entertaining for children, but sophisticated just enough for mom and dad.
One of my favorite things to do is to people watch at Disneyland. I love how dad and mom are just as excited to be in the park as their kids. Disney found a way to bring parents back to their childhood days.
The church can do the same thing. I believe we should:
1. Remind people where they came from. This can be done in numerous ways…getting people involved with discipleship, volunteering, evangelizing…
2. When we think of events we ought to not just think kids or just think adults, etc. We need to think generational. What’s in it for mom, dad, single young adult? This is thinking beyond just kids and working together as a team. The end result is children’s ministry (and other ministries) benefit.
3. Share the vision of having parents and other adults give back by mentoring children through small groups, etc.
4. Create ministries in your church where children and adults can serve together (i.e. ushers, greeters, choir, etc)
This is beyond just one person being a “family pastor”, this is everyone thinking family and generationally. It’s a cultural shift that can change church and how people perceive it.